What's at stake when we're talking about onboarding
Mar 9, 2022
Any manager will tell you onboarding is important. But managers are always drowning in “important” tasks. That’s probably why 22% of companies have no onboarding process at all. In a world of “brutal prioritization” how important is onboarding really?
Studies have found that onboarding has an astonishing positive impact:
- Teams with an onboarding process have 50% greater new hire productivity (source)
- 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding (source)
- Hires who join teams with longer onboarding programs gain full proficiency 34% faster than those in the shortest programs (source)
And the cost of failing at onboarding is even larger:
- Twenty-three percent of new hires turn over before their first anniversary
- The organizational costs of employee turnover are estimated to range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary
- In the U.S. and U.K., an estimated $37 billion is spent annually to keep unproductive employees who don’t understand their job (source)
In other words, deprioritize onboarding at your own peril.
Plenty of work has gone into establishing best practices for in-person onboarding, but what about remote onboarding? As we were building our remote-first team, we really felt that void. There’s no playbook, no best practices, no tools to help. Firing up Slack on your first day and trying to figure out what’s going on, and even who is who, is scary! A few Zoom calls aren’t enough to hit the ground running.
So we began working on a solution for the highest leverage moment: the first day.
There’s functional needs on that first day. You of course need your accounts, software, basic processes, and paperwork. Doing that through Slack and email is messy for sure. But the big opportunity on the first day is in establishing relationships with your new teammates.
To that end, an MIT Sloan study found that great onboarding isn’t just about “introducing employees to the work environment and company culture.” Great onboarding involves "encouraging newcomers to express their unique perspectives and strengths on the job and inviting them to frame their work as a platform for doing what they do best.”
And so we built our first experiment, Frond Hello, to help our new teammates feel welcome on day one. It’s a custom page for your hire that combines links to everything they need, with personal welcome videos from everyone on the team.
Those videos are what we’re particularly excited about. “Encouraging new teammates to express their uniqueness” is hard, especially remote. Frond Hello videos allow your team to model “their uniqueness” rather than simply parrot company culture. They can start conversations that grow into the tight-knit relationships that great remote work runs on.
We’re not stopping at onboarding, there are plenty of exciting projects coming down the line. We can’t wait to share them with you!
The Frond Team